We have been on many a Carnival cruise and this was our best one yet! The ship is new and has the most thrills of any Carnival ship (not counting Vista soon to be sailing). I'm going to break it down into the sections that are important to us:
Embarkation and Disembarkation: The best we've ever had with Carnival. I think this is due to 2 things- we had FTTF and had priority embark and disembark. Also, the enforced check-in made that process so much easier. FTTF was definitely worth it to us despite our room not being ready on time (see below).
Service: Service was comparable to most of our other Carnival cruises. The steward was very nice, though she was running behind the first 2-3 days of our cruise. We had FTTF but our cabin was not ready on time. She was very apologetic and let us drop off our carry-ons and we came back an hour later to a clean room. Dining staff was friendly, but slow. We didn't feel like we had to go to the dining room every opportunity as it was so-so in service and just good in food. We especially liked the staff at the Red Frog Pub and Cucina del Capitano in the evening. Very friendly.
We were not under the galley so spared that noise, but did hear theater from time to time. Loved the balcony but it was often wet from rough seas. Some rattles kept waking us up. Tons of storage. Good deck location- close to getting on and off ship.
Son did flowrider experience and had a fantastic time! Staff there was very nice with the kids and ensured they got plenty of turns.
We only went to the cruise terminal area and nothing to see there. We had heard not a great port unless you do a Carnival excursion so we didn't bother.
Irie tours did a fantastic job. Very friendly guide and kept us hydrated and entertained. Very good value. Only wish it was less seeing neighborhoods and more beach time. Curacao distillery a tourist trap- huge line to get a couple samples and then herded through store.
We only walked around the downtown area, but it was very nice. Tons of shops and restaurants and clean and safe.
We live nearby Miami and didn't do an excursion here. People tend to either love Miami or have a major dislike. We tend towards disliking it- maybe because we've had to drive through it too many times. The drivers are nuts there!